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Car Horn Repair Tips

Use a simple fused jumper to pinpoint the problem with a bad horn. Often the fix is simple and cheap.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Car Horn Repair Tips

Use a simple fused jumper to pinpoint the problem with a bad horn. Often the fix is simple and cheap.

Connect a fused jumper

Vehicle horns sit up front where they’re exposed to rain and road chemicals. Once that spray gets into the horn’s innards, it can short out the coil and kill the horn (and blow the fuse in the process). But an inoperative horn can also be caused by a bad horn switch in your steering wheel, a broken “clock spring” under the steering wheel, a bum horn relay, a broken wire or a corroded ground. Here’s how to check the most likely suspects.

Start with the fuse. Refer to the owner’s manual for its location. If the fuse is good, jump power directly to the horn with a homemade fused jumper (photo). If the fuse blows, you’ve got a bum horn. If the horn makes a clicking sound, the problem could be a poor ground connection. Clean the horn’s ground connection and try powering the horn again. If the horn still clicks, you’ll have to replace it.

Check the relay

If the horn works with jumpered power, the problem lies upstream. Before you waste time searching for a broken wire, try swapping out the horn relay (photo). If the relay works, you’re looking at a much bigger problem. Take it to a pro.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

You have to make a fused jumper, as shown in the article.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • 16 gauge wire
    • Clamps, 2
    • In-line fuse holder

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